Causes of Diarrhoea
Diarrhoea usually occurs when fluid cannot be absorbed from your bowel contents, or when extra fluid is secreted into the bowel, causing watery faeces.
Conditions causing short-term diarrhoea:
Diarrhoea is usually a symptom of gastroenteritis, an infection of the bowel and can be result from:
- Bacteria, (E. coli), salmonella and shigella – these may all cause food poisoning
- A virus, such as norovirus or rotavirus. Rotaviruses infect the stomach and intestines (bowel) of children and can spread from child to child.
Diarrhoea caused by contaminated food or water from a foreign country is known as travellors’ diarrhoea
Other short-term causes of diarrhoea include:
• Emotional upset or anxiety
• Drinking too much alcohol
• Drinking too much much coffee
• A food allergy
Diarrhoea can also be a side effect of taking medicines including:
• Antacid medicines that contain magnesium
• Some medicines used in chemotherapy
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
• Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors
• Statins (cholesterol-lowering medicines)
• Laxatives – which can help relieve the symtoms of constitpation
The patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine should state whether diarrhoea is a possible side effect.